The effect of providing learning analytics on student behaviour and performance in programming: a randomised controlled experiment

Jan Hellings, Carla Haelermans*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We use a randomised experiment to study the effect of offering half of 556 freshman students a learning analytics dashboard and a weekly email with a link to their dashboard, on student behaviour in the online environment and final exam performance. The dashboard shows their online progress in the learning management systems, their predicted chance of passing, their predicted grade and their online intermediate performance compared with the total cohort. The email with dashboard access, as well as dashboard use, has positive effects on student behaviour in the online environment, but no effects are found on student performance in the final exam of the programming course. However, we do find differential effects by specialisation and student characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalHigher Education
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Jun 2020


  • Randomised controlled experiment
  • Learning analytics dashboard
  • Student behaviour
  • Student performance
  • Higher education

Cite this